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Understanding the Laws Regarding Public Transportation Accidents

With the price of gas continually going higher, more and more people are finding refuge on public transportation. A Toronto injury lawyer understands the need to use public transportation, but he will also warn his clients to be very observant when using the bus or subway. In Ontario, some 2011 changes to insurance and personal injury laws have made it a little more difficult for victims of public transportation accidents to collect compensation.

There are several different kinds of public transportation accidents that can create a variety of victims. Some of the more common public transportation accidents include:

  • Accidents due to poor road conditions
  • Collisions with other vehicles
  • Accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists
  • Accidents cause by driver negligence

A car accident lawyer in Ontario knows that the Ontario Insurance Act has been changed to help protect municipalities from driver negligence. If a passenger is riding a bus and that bus collides with some sort of object or another vehicle, then the passenger can make insurance claims against the owner of the bus. In most cases, the owner of the bus is the local public transportation provider. But there are private companies who are contracted to provide public transportation who are also affected by this law.

As an example, let us say that a bus is traveling down a road and has a collision with a truck. Each person on that bus has the right to make a claim against the insurance company of the bus owner, provided the bus is determined to be at fault. If there is one thing that experienced Ontario lawyers such as David Himelfarb know, it is that no accident is ever cut and dry. Before claims can be made, responsibility must be established. But if it is determined that the bus driver was at fault, then the passengers can pursue action against the bus company’s insurance carrier.

But what if a bus driver is intoxicated and drives off the side of the road and causes injuries and damage? In this case, the cause of the accident was the negligence of the driver and not a collision with an object or another vehicle, and the passengers cannot make accident benefit claims against the bus company’s insurance carrier. However, the accident victims could still pursue civil action against the driver to get compensation.

Can you rely on your own insurance if you are injured on public transportation due to the negligence of a driver? That is something that only an experienced Ontario personal injury attorney can answer. If you find yourself involved in a personal injury accident on a public transportation vehicle, then you need to contact a lawyer right away. Get as many facts about the incident as you can and take as many pictures as possible. Before you try to make any kind of claim for compensation, you will need to get the facts from a lawyer first.


For assistance with a personal injury and/or insurance claim, please email David Himelfarb at or call 1-855-446-7765, for a free case evaluation.

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